“Booze” * A Prose-Poem by Yash Seyedbagheri

Booze beckons beneath the sun’s cheerful vast skies. It is a Tuesday, boozeday, perfect day for booze, the skies the brightest shade of light blue one can imagine. The week is nascent, full of hope, lacking the chaos and screaming faces of Friday, cynicism depleted. But one drinks only in the evening, when obligations take flight, when one is alone with the night, a vastness before one. One can drink when the shadows begin their dance and streetlamps flick on, the bar’s neon singing electrical song.

Amaretto Sours and champagnes rise to the mind, drinks that convey the past, an era of sad verve and mystery. Sour, bitter, yet ethereal. White Russians, creamy churning, pale and brilliant as Siberian tundra. They seduce one, walking up the street, toward the bar, where the jukebox adds to the seduction. The drinks call, the pink and purple  jukebox sings oldies, Johnny Mathis crooning. Trench-coats and fedoras and cynicism, things one possesses. Booze, the falling dusk beckon, beckoning, whispering, promising dreamworlds. Streetlamps will glow like melted butter, sky a romantic expanse of black, while the mind consumes booze.

One glass of booze, any booze, with the goal of only two. Red wine, tart, white wine shimmers like a summer’s hush. Sitting at the booth, escape always possible. It’s so easy. Close out the tab when one hits the limit. Three drinks. No more, motherfucker. The night is young, lavender turning to velvet, people laughing, connections making one feel good and jealous and happy and fucking depressed. Lovers and spouses, mothers and children. Everyone is here tonight. The moon dances, rises, wisp clouds smiling. As they are every Tuesday. Savor the drink, remind oneself of one’s promises, the promises made now and last week. One drinks for fun not for necessity.

Two turns to three turns into drinks one cannot count, White Russians and champagne, and the night deepens, the bar becomes quiet, people stealing out into their worlds, their loved ones, the connections who lie in bed and watch Amazon movies or just roll joints. Moon seems to lose its sheen. Stars stab. The drinks continue as the people steal into the little houses, the lights flickering off, one drinking alone. In a booth. Tucked away, cell phone in hand, trying to capture good times. Darkness. Good night, motherfucker. The drinks continue as one might want off the train, but the booze train moves faster, promises, promises, until one ralphs up one’s pathetic soul, staring at it. One closes out, promises to flee booze, knowing the words are as empty. One can promise, one must promise, for it’s the only way one can walk out, something dignified and small and sad.

—About the Author—

Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. His work is forthcoming or has been published in journals such as 50 Word Stories, Silent Auctions, City. River. Tree. and Ariel Chart.

This is his second piece published at Aromatica Poetica—for another delicious sip of his writing, check out “I Like Beer.”